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Flights return to normal after Belgian airspace closure
Brussels Airport says it expects flights to operate normally on Friday after air traffic control problems on Thursday caused Belgian airspace to be completely closed for an hour and a half.
Belgocontrol ordered the airspace closure at about 16.00 on Thursday due to a technical problem that made it impossible to access flight plan data.
About 1,000 passengers had their flights cancelled and the 90-minute shutdown had a knock-on effect on flights for the rest of the evening. Planes were gradually allowed to resume their routes, but with larger intervals between each take-off and landing.
RTBF reports that some passengers have had to spend the night sleeping at Brussels Airport as some flights were rescheduled for early the following morning.
A Belgocontrol spokesman said: "We were faced with a problem loading data relating to the aircraft flight plan and that is why we had to close the airspace. It's called a 'clear the sky' - an ultimate safety measure to ensure the safety of all passengers."
Belgocontrol manages all the flight movements at six Belgian airports and the airspace up to a height of 8,000 metres. Flights above this altitude are managed by air traffic controllers in Maastricht.